The luck of the Dutch
5 Dutch idiots had decided to go to Dublin. Picking up really cheap tickets from Ryanair, they spent a long weekend in the city where more than half of the population is below 30. Stupid? You decide.
Since this was one of the few trips that we were going to do by plane, I hoped to be able to get a large group going. Since now, we wouldn't be really dependent on Joost his car, we could go with a group as large as possible.
However, we still were only 5. Four to be exact, where Stevie, the fifth one, only joined us two days later.
A minor drawback related to the cheap tickets was, that we had to leave from Charlerois airport. Some 50km south of Brussels. Considering we all live in the Rotterdam area (in the Netherlands) that wasn't like next door.
But the tickets being cheap really was a good thing. Since Dublin is too expensive to be true, we needed every dime we could spare. Sleeping in the Avalon house, in a 12 bedded room, we still had to pay some 15 Irish Pounds (about $20) a night.
Dublin is a nice place though. Although I wouldn't recommend going there around Easter, as we did. On good Friday, no pub is allowed to pour any alcoholic beverages and the police intensively do checks. Quite remarkable, for a country that's in the top five countries as to alcohol consumption per capita.
Strangely enough, on Easter Sunday, you are allowed to drink. And so we did. Together with two girls from the hostel, Viv and Cath, we visited the Jameson distillery in Dublin (although its now nothing but a museum). The good thing being the whiskey tasting at the end of the tour.
Afterwards, we went to a little town called 'Dun Laoghaire', where we visited the Martello Tower, the starting point of James Joyce's Ulysses,
In the evening we visited a 'typical' (read: touristy) Irish pub. When the rest of the boys went on, clubbin', the girls and myself had a really interesting evening.
Did I learn anything that day? Well, sometimes, it's better to choose…
Dublin is a very green city. With a good amount of city parks its a very nice and friendly city to lounge in. Without a doubt, the city's nicest park is St. Stephen's Green. It being close to the hostel, I did some running there on Saturday morning. Not a wonderful thing, since the hangover of the night before was still troubling me.
We also spent a day out in the country. Twice a day, you can get a bus from besides St. Stephen's Green that drives you directly to Glendalough (the valley of two lakes), one of the few places that, according to Lonely Planet, you have to see when you're around Dublin.
Its basically two lakes in a valley (yes, really) with some leftovers from an old religious settlement. We visited on Good Friday and, by chance, experienced the first Good Friday mass there in 500 years. Not that it (the mass) was very spectacular, though. Although quite some of the people attending sung to the glory of god. That, and the pouring rain made it a very remarkable experience.
Our trip back to Brussels was quite a remarkable one as well. First, the bus service from the hostel to the airport was late. Then it turned out that instead of the planned 45mins, it took close to 90. Us arriving only minutes before the closing of the check-inn desk. However, because an earlier flight had been canceled, there were only four tickets left for our flight, all the people from the earlier flight taking ours. We were with five. The next plane was to leave a mere six hours later.
The girl at the check-inn offered free tickets to all that took the later flight. Leaving us no choice, basically, we all took the later flight. To top it all of, she also offered a snack voucher. Snack being the operative word. 3.50 Irish Pounds can just buy you a Snickers at Dublin airport.
Since I had had a very, well, interesting night, thanks to Cath and Viv, I wasn't really in the mood for anything but sleeping. As you might understand, an airport isn't the best place to take a nap. Earlier, I had bought a copy of James Joyce's Ulysses, but that too wasn't really something to begin with on a tired head. Going outside, finding a bench in the sun, I tried to sleep away the wait. A pity that our plan to take an early flight out of Dublin and arrive home at a respectable time had failed miserably.